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It finally rained...first time stocking...
#416366 06/23/15 12:01 AM
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I have a small pond on my property. Right now it is the fullest I have ever seen it in the 6.5 years I have lived here (just got out of a very bad drought).

Two things I want to achieve is mosquito control and fun for visiting kids...and me...heh

The pond...it was totally dry. In prior times when it had water, I did see what I thought were crawdads in it...but after reading here, they may be some similar critter. Never any fish since I moved in. One of the prior owners told me he had it full of crappie at one time. My guess would be 10-12 feet deep now. Only 27 yards across. I expect the water level to go down. West side is steep, east side more shallow of a bank, but still pretty steep. Trees around/in the pond. Shallowest where the water comes in. Some frogs and a turtle have already found it.

There is a fish truck coming to town saturday...so was looking at stocking it. I spent the last few hours reading threads, but I know nothing...

I am in Wichita county Texas.

Would love some bass, but don't feel the pond is large enough for that.

Want to get FHM for the mosquitoes, and from what I can tell, the truck will have black crappie, bass, channel cats, BG, etc. I am thinking of getting the crappie. Should I be looking at some BG too? Or instead? Quantity I should be looking at? My understanding is they will be 1-3 inches long. Was thinking of a couple cats, but after reading here, that might be a bad idea...???

I have a few spare deer feeders around, so can set up a feeder if need be.

Look forward to your input.

The way our weather is, it would not surprise me if I lose the pond again in a few years...so not looking at any long term plan for it. Just some catch-and-release for a couple years and mosquito control would be nice.

Thanks,
Sean

Last edited by Boburk; 06/23/15 09:15 AM.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416378 06/23/15 06:45 AM
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Welcome to PBF Boburk!

Lots of Texas guys around here that lived thru your drought. They should be able to offer up ideas for your pond.

Good Luck!

Bill D.


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You'll never know what ya can catch unless you wet a line!
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416381 06/23/15 07:15 AM
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I would probably skip the crappie in a pond that small. I would throw some HBG in there, add 2-3 single sex LMB, and feed sparingly. If it goes dry again you wouldn't be out much, and you could have some fun with it in the meantime.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416386 06/23/15 07:32 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Boburk!

I'd suggest 10 pounds of Fathead Minnows, 200 Coppernose Bluegill, 100 Hybrid Bluegill and 5 Bass, and if the truck has them, 25 Redear sunfish to control snails/grubs.

I'd avoid Crappie like the plague in a small pond. The mix I suggested (and feeding daily) will give you good LMB growth while the panfish will provide lots of action for the kids next year. The occasional hookup with a LMB, once grown, would be a blast on ultralight gear. It is also a relatively inexpensive mix that can last a good while, or even be easily replaced if another drought hits.

Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416387 06/23/15 07:34 AM
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It also would not hurt to add 25 channel catfish IF you like catfishing and will remove them before reaching 3-5 pounds.

Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416407 06/23/15 09:09 AM
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Welcome Sean. We have another Wichita Falls guy(Mobilus) posting here. And, my place isn't all that far just South of Bowie.

I would skip the crappie in any water hole less than 25 to 50 acres. In a pond your size, I would really consider hybrid bluegills, maybe 25 channel catfish and a bunch of rain dances.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416408 06/23/15 09:33 AM
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Excited that two different people think I can get away with a few LMB.

Curious...why the recommendations against Crappie?

Catfish...I don't eat much fish at all. I just used to keep aquariums and that seemed to always be a recommendation... to have a scavenger or two. So, if unneeded, I will skip it.

Rainman, that seems like a lot of fish. Am I going to lose a lot, or do you really think my pond can support that many?

I will probably go with the common recommendations, but was looking at 2 lbs of BHM. Is 10 lbs what I need?

OK...so looking at:

2-10 lbs of BHM (need feedback)
2-5 LMB
200 Blue Gill...advantage of hybrid other than they are slower to reproduce? Why did rainman recommend a mix over just hybrid? 200 hybrid or a mix?
Skip cats?
A few redear bream if they have them.

Am I close?

Thanks for the inputs.

Sean

Dave...you had me googling "rain dance fish" LOL. I am a little slow this morning I guess.

Last edited by Boburk; 06/23/15 09:40 AM.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416410 06/23/15 10:25 AM
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Crappie tend to require extra management and often cause over population problems in a small 0.2 ac pond. They need unique conditions (management) to grow large ones especially in a small pond. Other suggested fish species will provide easier management and better overall fishing esp for the kids. Several fish options are mentioned. Initially I would leave out the catfish or only stock 10-25 in that small of pond. IF you add catfish plan to remove everyone you catch due to the long term problems they can cause.

If larger bass (14"-16") are desired then you will need to have regular Bgill to feed the bass and allow some of them to get bigger than 10". Hyb BG initially grow well esp on pellets and are great fishing for kids and several initial bass 10-20 and their offspring will reproduce and keep HBG numbers well controlled. If you feed the fish pellets the pond will grow more pounds of fish and bigger fish, thus higher stocking numbers can be initially stocked as per suggested above (300 sunfish types). HBG and regular BG (or coppernose BG) was suggested because the BG will reproduce better than HBG and provide more food for bass. Pros and cons to this concept.
HBG tend to be fast initial growers and more aggressive biters thus anglers usually catch more of them compared to regular BG which is why HBG are often suggested for an emphasis for kids fishing ponds.

Since you plan to stock all your fish at one time and not wait to build up a forage fish food base then stock more of the minnows (FHM) (10-16 lbs) to jump start growth of the bass so they as predators provide overall optimum predation of small sunfish.

Since your pond is prone to drought try our Forum fishery ideas and later if you need restock and can spend time here learning more about crappie management, you could try crappie. Growing crappie successfully in small waters is a steep learning curve not really for beginners.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/23/15 10:30 AM.

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Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416413 06/23/15 11:05 AM
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Thanks for the detailed answer Bill.

All in all, a lot more fish than I expected. I was figuring on a couple cats, 2 lbs of FHM for the mosquitoes, and 20-50 crappie or BG. I figured with the crappie being small, they would not go after the FHM for awhile. I liked the idea of crappie because I thought they would be more gamy to fish for than BG and didn't think my pond was large enough for LMB. But after spending time in NC...if my pond will support a few LMB, I like that idea better.

Thanks again,
Sean

Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416420 06/23/15 12:11 PM
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Ok...any reason to not stock all copper nose BG? I would think with 2-300 in the pond, the kids would catch some?

If I try to add redear later on, would they just be food for other fish? Or will they eat other things now if there is not a lot of snails yet?

OK...so....
10lbs of FHM
6 LMB
200-300 BG (mix or all copper nose)
0 catfish
0 crappie
A few redear

Sean

Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416426 06/23/15 12:49 PM
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If your pond ices over at all then at least mix regular and CNBG. CNBG are not as cold tolerant .

RES eat stuff in addition to snails. They can be stocked at the same time as BG and do fine.

The LMB need to be small 2-3 inches so they won't eat the BG to start.
















Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416431 06/23/15 12:57 PM
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Looks like the mix of BG is the answer I guess.

Feed...pick it up at any farm store? Atwood's? Tractor Supply? What do I need to look for?

Sean

Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416436 06/23/15 01:34 PM
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Boburk, as Bill Cody explained in more detail as to why stocking what, Just get plenty of Fatheads for your LMB to munch on as they grow. The FHM will spawn a lot right away, but as the LMB grow, the FHM will get eaten and disappear. During this time, your BG (or CNBG) will grow and should spawn next year to produce plenty of LMB food in larger sizes. I suggested HBG in your situation and based on wanting kids to have fun fishing....the HBG grow a tad faster than the BG, and are much more aggressive in biting on bait to keep easily bored kids, happy (and "real" anglers, frustrated..lol).

If you are within a couple or three hours of Buffalo, TX, give Todd Overton at Overton's Fish Farm a call....he is a great guy that sells top quality fish!

Later, if wanted, you could even add a few Hybrid Striped Bass for an exciting catch...or even your beloved Crappie once you are more comfortable on how and IF you want to manage your pond more intensely.

Nothing special to look for in the fish suggested other than making sure no bullhead catfish or other unwanted species is obviously mixed in...Take your time acclimating and tempering the fish before finally releasing them into your pond to reduce potential mortalities.

Edit: I misread what to look for in feed.... Bluegill do quite well on 32% protein "catfish" food, but if you can find it, for small fish, use Aquamax 300 or 500 to start and feed what the fish will eat in 15 minutes 2-3 times a day, after they feed aggressively.

Last edited by Rainman; 06/23/15 01:44 PM.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416439 06/23/15 01:50 PM
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Remember also, that a small pond environment heavy on catch and release fishing pressure may tend to produce some hook shy fish. Even the HBG. wink


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416451 06/23/15 03:52 PM
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Sean, if Bill Cody says it, take notes.

From your description, I'm visualizing about 1/4 acre. Stocking plans should not be at high water levels but whatever is realistic to expect. This year is unusually wet and the past 4 have been DRY. I certainly don't have a crystal ball on North Texas rain. Too many fish creates an oxygen crash and fish die off. I'd think twice about 10 lbs of fatheads. They generally go about 400 per lb and are extremely prolific.

Rex(Rainman) is giving good advice on feed.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416463 06/23/15 07:13 PM
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You can reduce the BG-HBG-redear number down to near 100 if you are on a budget and expect the pond to be significantly reduced in size by fall-winer. If you are only adding 6-8 fingerling LMbass then you can reduce the FHminnows to 4-6 lbs. If you have never experienced good quality HBG at 9" long they may become one of your favorite panfish replacing crappie or equaling them as desirability. As you remove HBG plan to replace some of them every 1-3 years. They can be lots of fun for all panfish anglers.

Last edited by Bill Cody; 06/23/15 07:18 PM.

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Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416485 06/24/15 06:09 AM
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I don't know what to expect from the pond Bill. It seems like we are either feast or famine when it comes to rain. Either too much rain or not enough. Our drinking water lakes got down to 20% full. They are at 100% now. I don't expect my pond to stay as full as it is, but I don't expect it to go dry for years either.

Nothing we have talked about is outside of my budget. I have no idea how often the fish truck comes to town. It does not bother me to buy a few pounds of minnows a couple times a year if they are available. Or to have to feed periodically. Feeding twice a day (even with an automatic feeder) is more than I expected.

It would be nice though, to have a somewhat self sustaining pond that just needed an intervention every once in awhile, as opposed to constant maintenance. I know it is small compared to a lot of other ponds I have read about here...so that might be somewhat unrealistic.

I am still mulling it all over, and have been talking to family and friends about the recommendations I have got here. I am excited about the prospect of having a few bass in my back yard.

I tried to contact the company coming to town (stock my pond) through email...asked what kind of fish they are bringing...but have not got a response yet.

Sean

Last edited by Boburk; 06/24/15 08:21 AM.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416496 06/24/15 08:11 AM
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I found this on their website.

The truck will have channel cat, large mouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, hybrid bluegill, red ear bream, and fathead minnows.

Sean

Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416508 06/24/15 09:03 AM
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Bo, you could not run fast enough to make me buy my fish off a transit fish truck - UNLESS - I knew them personally and they grow their own fish ..... you never know how long they have had them on a truck or what you are getting unless you have the skill and knowledge to ID EVERY fish..
Worse mistake I ever made on my first stocking a brand new pond..
Others may have differing opinions.
G/

Last edited by george1; 06/24/15 12:34 PM.


N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416531 06/24/15 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the input George. I don't know that I have a lot of other options. Todd Overton is about 4-5 hours away. Not sure his fish would be much better after a 5 hour drive.

I really would be surprised if this pond lasts 10 years without going dry again. So...whatever I mess up now and learn from, I will be able to use that experience when I restock later on. Due to our drought, I do have almost 3000 gallons of collected rain water (and the means to collect more) I could use to keep it going if all goes well.

I was reading a "what's this fish" thread in here where a guy had got some other minnows mixed in with his BHM...that were then reproducing in his pond. But....as long as they eat mosquito larvae, I can live with that.

Sean

Last edited by Boburk; 06/24/15 04:54 PM.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416539 06/24/15 02:49 PM
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Sean, I have hauled Overton's fish for more than three hours and some on the forum have made longer run with no fish loss.
Have you checked with Lusk and some of the other suppliers nearby - Dave Davidson is your area - send him a PM - he is very knowledgable.

The advantage of buying your fish from a known and trusted supplier is that you can build a confidence factor. Most of those fish trucks that show up at your local feed store are out of Arkansas - some good and some bad.
With your limited stocking plan you may be OK and build a confidence factor.

Great news you have a pond full of water - folks in your area have taken a beating - much more than N.E. Texas pondsters.
Ain't rain grand!

Good luck with your program,
George



N.E. Texas 2 acre and 1/4 acre ponds
Original george #173 (22 June 2002)




Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416547 06/24/15 03:55 PM
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Boburk,

I haul Overton's fish each year pushing between 6 and 6-1/2 hours before releasing the fish into the pond. I have no issues so 4-5 hours is easily doable. I have even successfully hauled and stocked Rainbow Trout from Overtons to my pond.....

I am about 45 minutes away from the fish truck route but elect to make the 11 hour round trip exactly because of George1 statements....

Just my .02 worth.....

Coupe


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Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416616 06/25/15 10:35 AM
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Fish can be moved a long way if bagged in pure O2.
















Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416686 06/25/15 06:52 PM
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Well....my point with worrying about hauling the fish long distance dealt with the comment above about not knowing how long they had been in the truck. I figured the truck made to haul fish would do a better job than me hauling fish. I looked for reviews on the company. 11 total...9 were Max rated high, 2 were Max low rated, but the comments dealt with not showing up at a stop, or showing up late.

I did look at Todd`s website for pricing, to see if I would save the money I would spend on gas by getting my fish there, and found his prices were higher...some close to twice as much. Also didn't see HBG there.

I did get an answer to my query to the company coming here..."I would get about 3# of minnows and it's to hot for crappie but I would just add 25 bass 100 bluegills and if you want cats you can add them too."

I guess I thought there would be more consistency in the recommendations. Though the recommendations against crappie was pretty consistent.

I am all for getting red ear, but out of curiosity, what kind of "grubs" are in water? Grubs I am used to are only yard eating the roots on my grass... If they eat snails, I am all for getting them, just trying to learn.

Thanks again,
Sean

Last edited by Boburk; 06/25/15 06:55 PM.
Re: It finally rained...first time stocking...
Boburk #416687 06/25/15 07:09 PM
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There's more than one way to skin a cat, and there's more than one way to stock a pond. You're going to get a variety of suggestions, and most likely there will be multiple, workable scenarios. Lots of factors to consider, including your goals for the pond, and how much input (work) you're willing to commit to.

Ever filet a fish and see those black specks in the meat, or the yellow "worms" in the fins, and/or in the flesh? That's where your RES can help you out. They consume snails, which are an integral part of the life cycle of BOTH parasites.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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